You’re Obviously Using Some New Definition Of Great With Which I Am Unfamiliar

Exploding Head

We don’t want them to be clones.

When we thrust our spawn out into the world, we hope they will draw from us what is good and bring in their own goodness and unique attitude to form a wonderful, exciting personality. We don’t want them to be exactly like us.

And while this whole wonderful, unique personality thing might eventually happen in the end, you’re going to go through a lot of pain on the way there. Like, for instance, at the movies.

As a stay-at-home dude, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a number of different subcultures you (wished you) never knew existed. I became an expert on the original 151 Pokémon and reacquainted myself with the wonders of Pooh and Piglet and the rest. Some of it was pretty good, I’ll have to admit. I sort of came to enjoy the soothing rhythms of early morning Pooh. And also watching the Pooh Bear on television.

Living through that *&&^%%((%$#&)(^%ing Pokémon song though. . . Six-inch needles to the eyeballs would have been preferable.

Still, we suck it up, smile and keep on watching so they can have their fond childhood memories. 

While I stick by the attitude, it did mean I had to go see a lot of cartoon movies that should never have been made, in amongst a tiny group of parents surrounded by screaming young spawn hyped up on sugar and adrenaline. I usually was in a much better mood after the movie as several of the parents used to meet in a back row and pass a flask back and forth, making sarcastic comments under our breath.

Unfortunately, the spawn keep growing and — eventually — they pass out of the age range where only animated fare is acceptable. And they begin to desire a chance to see live-action movies. Movies that were meant for adults, but, because they get advertised everywhere, kids want to see them as well. Not inappropriate movies. Well, not inappropriate, per se. Just bad.

Really, really bad.

See, I could put up with bad Pokémon movies because those weren’t meant for me and I could let them almost just glide over my consciousness without making a dent. But, as a functioning adult, my brain is wired to pay attention when seeming adults are talking, moving and doing stuff. I almost have to pay attention.
Nooooooo! Noooooooooo! It's hideous. Make it stop! Make it *sob* stttooooo-oooopppppp.
And that’s when it starts to hurt.

The worst example of this I haven’t completely blocked from my memory, and the one my spawn keep bringing up just to torture me with, was Paul Blartt: Mall Cop, starring Kevin James. He’s a doofus, see? And he wants to be a cop, see? But, and this is the hilarious part, he can’t get in and so he becomes a mall cop, see? Hilarious, right? Right? 

Wrong. Very, very wrong.

I knew this was going to be ugly, but all three spawn begged to see the movie. I figured I’d survive, so I thought (and this is probably what ended up doing the most damage), “How bad could it be?” Never ask that sort of open-ended question of the universe. It likes to answer.

As I wrote in our Dude’s Guide blog, I’m going to paraphrase from my favorite penguin here: Bad plot. Bad special effects. Bad acting. Bad script. Bad costumes. So bad that it created a black hole of badness that sucks all that is good within itself and crushes it within its gravity well of badness. Well, it wasn’t that bad. But Lord, it wasn’t good.

About halfway through, I started closing my eyes to block out the pain, humming softly (not too softly, considering I was all alone in one of the back rows) to escape the insipid dialogue and occasionally punching myself in the nose to remind me that it could, maybe, get worse. And then it did. How, you ask, could something that bad get worse? Easy. It just kept on going. And going. The joke was worn down to powder, leavened with concrete, mixed with water, poured under the foundation of an outhouse and then dynamited and still the movie kept going back to the same, stupid joke: Mall cops aren’t very competent. Wheeee! Wasn’t that fun? Answer: No

The worst part, though, came at the end. I staggered out of the theater, wiping the blood from around my eyes, nose and ears and asked the spawn what they thought of the movie. I fully expected some half-hearted response consisting of, maybe, they liked the popcorn at least.

No. They each shouted that the movie — the same movie during which I had contemplated killing myself if only to end the pain — was, in fact, awesome. And then started shouting lines from said movie at each other, continuing with it during the ride home and the days following. And when I asked them to stop, please, please stop, for the love of FSM, they’d laugh and up the volume.

Now, Hollywood, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to make a sequel to the movie from six years ago. Why? I don’t know, maybe we haven’t suffered enough. So, of course, I heard immediately from every spawn about what an awesome movie this will be and they can’t wait to make me take them to see it.

But the joke’s on them. I’m tougher now. I’ve been through the wars. I know the pain and I will not suffer it again. 

Like you other stay-at-home dudes, we will draw strength from each other and stay strong. We will only see movies that we want to see and think they will enjoy. They don’t get to pick the movies. They. . . They. . . 

You! There in the back! Yes, I see you! You’re weakening, I can tell. You’re imagining the look on her face when you say you’ll go see the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic movie, aren’t you? Stop it! You’re taking us all down with you. Stop! Stop!

What’s that? Paul what? Why, yes, young spawn. That does sound like a good idea. But can any of you tell me why I have a sudden urge to bring knitting needles with me to the movie?